The greatest number of patients in our department are those referred from the Department of Neurology. These patients usually present symptoms or conditions such as peripheral facial paralysis, primary headache, or cerebrovascular disorders; acupuncture and moxibustion treatment have resulted in an overall favorable effect.
Regarding the effect of acupuncture and moxibustion treatment on the prevention of migraine attacks, a two-month course of acupuncture has been shown to decrease the number of days with a slight or moderate headache. Furthermore, we have seen a relation between the alleviation of headache and that of muscular tenderness in the neck-shoulder region and masticatory muscles. The results of Arterial Spin-Labeling MRI, by which we determine changes in cerebral blood flow before and after acupuncture stimulation in patients with migraine, have revealed that acupuncture stimulation induces an increase of blood flow in the thalamus and hypothalamus, opercular part, cingulate gyrus, and islet. This differs from the response obtained in healthy individuals.
It has been shown that acupuncture and moxibustion for tension headache is highly effective and the action mechanism of acupuncture and moxibustion is associated with relaxation of masticatory muscles hypertonicity in the neck-shoulder region and normalization of circulation dynamics, contributing thereby to the alleviation of headache. Moreover, the automatic nervous system has been found to be related to such analgesic mechanism.
Based on our experience, we consider that traditional medicine based on acupuncture and moxibustion is highly effective in patients with neurological symptoms.